Make No Bones About It: Orthopedic Injuries Can Happen to Your Child

…and important “breaking” news this Halloween season

Orthopedic injuries are more than just broken bones and casts. They actually include a variety of injuries that are common among kids and teens, especially considering the highly active lives that many of them lead. As parents, it’s helpful to know the types of injuries and the signs to watch out for, to make sure to seek the care of an orthopedic doctor in the case of a suspected (or apparent) injury. On occasion, injuries can seem less severe than they appear, and parents may think that treatment at home will suffice, only to realize later that prompt and effective treatment from an orthopedic specialist was warranted. It may also be in the child’s best interest to see a pediatric physical therapist following orthopedic treatment for full recuperation. Read on for more details and reach out to us at CTC with any concerns you may have!


The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo

This not-so-scary children’s book follows Little Ghost on her nighttime quest to find her lost “Boo.” Parents will appreciate the charming text and children will adore the colorful and bold art.

Product: Adaptive costumes

Kudos to Target and Walmart for offering a line of adaptive costumes! While they currently do not offer an extensive range of choices, it’s promising to see two corporation powerhouses beginning to advocate for those with specialized physical needs.

Join the fun at CTC’s Trunk or Treat this year on 10/22! Please see our office flyer for more details.

Orthopedic Injuries: Which is It?

The types and treatments of ortho injuries

Orthopedic injuries in children are quite common. Think of the myriad of activities in which many children participate in: riding bikes and scooters, skateboarding, jumping on trampolines, playing in parks and participating in sports, to name a few. It’s no wonder that pediatric orthopedic doctors are plenty busy! Below, we discuss the various types of orthopedic injuries and the care that they require.

Bone Breaks

A broken bone is likely the first thought that comes to most people’s minds when they hear of orthopedic injuries, and they are a common occurrence in childhood. Fractures of the arm, leg or collarbone often result from impact to the ground (i.e., from playground equipment, bikes, or trampolines) or from colliding with another (i.e., during contact sports). At the end of many bones in a child’s body are growth plates, made of malleable tissue that will eventually turn to solid bone tissue with maturity. These growth plates are prone to bending and breaking since they are not yet hardened. Fractures require immediate medical attention to immobilize and stabilize the fracture. Treatment may require casts, crutches and at times, surgery.

Sprains / Strains

A sprain is an injury to the band of tissue that connects two bones together, while a strain is an injury to a muscle or to the band of tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. Swelling, pain, redness and bruising are signs of a sprain or strain, in which case an appointment with a doctor for an examination and potential X-ray is advised. Some sprains and strains may only require the RICE method of treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation) at home.

Overuse injuries

Injuries of overuse include shin splints, muscle strains and tennis elbow, which cause stress on the body, resulting in inflammation. Most of these injuries can be treated with rest, pain meds, heat or ice, although physical therapy can help speed along efficient recovery. For a child athlete, reiterating the importance of stretching pre- and post- activity is a must.


Dislocations are joint injuries that occur when connected bones separate. They can result when an intense force is put on the joint and can occur in various situations involving movement. Signs include pain, redness, swelling and bruising, although there may also be numbness, weakness, loss of joint function and a visible deformity. Treatment can range anywhere from at-home RICE care to surgery.


Contact sports such as boxing, football and wrestling come with the risk of concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that demands prompt attention and treatment. In most instances, a neurologist becomes a part of the medical team to assess and monitor neurological health.

ACL Injuries

Short for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), this type of injury is a common sprain in high-impact sports such as soccer, basketball and football. Having a torn ACL indicates that excessive strain was put on the knee, likely from jumping, colliding or quickly changing momentum or direction.

The range in severity for orthopedic injuries is high, as is the likelihood of children experiencing mobility issues following a moderate to severe injury. In these instances, seeking assessment from a skilled pediatric physical therapist (PT) is a proactive measure to ensure that your child has every opportunity to recover from their injury and has functional movement and range of motion restored.

Halloween Tips for Sensory – Sensitive Children

Think from the perspective of your child to make the best out of the day

Help them know what to expect

Many children with sensory issues have a difficult time with the uncertainty of new or unfamiliar situations. Practice trick-or-treating at your own door before Halloween arrives and take time to look through pictures of past Halloweens to remind them of the experience, which hopefully they have a positive association with.

Make costumes sensory-friendly

Many costumes are uncomfortable—think of all the itchy fabrics!—so consider making your child’s costume yourself. You don’t have to be a seamstress or even creatively gifted; just start with a comfortable base, such as soft t-shirts and elastic banded pants, and add ítems such as capes, emblems printed from online, etc.

Change your expectations

As a parent who likely grew up with your own Halloween activities and traditions, you may have your own “vision” about how the day should go. For a sensory-sensitive child, trick-or-treating for hours on end, being expected to pose for multiple pictures and visiting homes with extra-spooky decor (think speakers with screams and animatronics with lights and movement) is just too much. In this instance, lowering your expectations is only going to benefit you and your child.

Rainbow Fentanyl Crisis: The Scariest Nightmare this Halloween

Put candy-checking into overdrive this year

Fentanyl—a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine—is becoming a national crisis, in regard to ever-increasing deaths from overdose. In 2020, opioid abuse was responsible for 68,630 deaths in the U.S. alone, accounting for 74.8% of all drug overdose deaths.

In recent months, a version of fentanyl has sparked extra concern: rainbow fentanyl. This multi-colored version of the potentially deadly drug warrants an elevated level of unease due to its heightened appeal—in particular, to children. Rainbow fentanyl can come in pill or powder form, and comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Some have compared certain pills’ appearance to Smarties, a popular and well-liked candy. Others have noted that blocks of colored fentanyl resemble sidewalk chalk. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have stated that drug traffickers are attempting to sell fentanyl that resembles candy in a deliberate attempt to propel addiction among kids and young adults. The pills are often made to resemble real prescription opioid medication like Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Xanax, or stimulants like Adderall, according to the DEA. Two milligrams of fentanyl—roughly the same amount as 10-15 grains of salt, is considered a lethal dose.

This year more than ever, it’s important to have a discussion with your older children about the dangers of taking any pill that is offered to them by adults or peers, and to your younger children about making sure that their parents examine any and all Halloween candy before they consume it.

Content of this newsletter was written by:
Megan A. Miller, M.S., CCC-SLP

Please contact Megan with any questions or comments at: